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43 Solar Cookers for Hualongkou Village

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43 Solar Cookers for Hualongkou Village


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Lila Louie, Tasha Michelman, Maki Teshima, Ketil Hviding, David Weisman, Vanessa Weaver, Robert Schachat, Jeffrey Shapiro, Emily Huebner, Anya Kholodenov, Kristos Kowgios, Yili Ong provided 5,288.32RMB that, combined with a local contribution of 2,150RMB, purchased 43 solar cookers for 43 households in Hualongkou Village. Locals earn their living mainly by farming in a mountain area where it is impossible to use tractors to assist with farm work. None of the fields are irrigated, making the yield heavily dependent on the weather. Usually, there is no extra grain to sell. The annual cash income for a village resident is around 1,500RMB, which does not meet basic living expenses. There are high levels of illiteracy. The village is not near any natural fuel resources other than a forest, which is fenced and carefully guarded; it is impossible for the local people to obtain firewood from that source. Therefore, villagers burn mostly coal, which costs more than 350RMB per ton. They also use branches cut from their own trees and a little dung for cooking. However, since this village is primarily a farming community, people have few livestock and thus there is little dung. As a result, they go miles away to collect dung. They know it is a natural fertilizer for their grassland, and over-collection of it causes damage to the grassland, but still they must burn it. Another problem with dung is that it burns quickly, so large amounts are needed to cook a decent meal. Coal is expensive consequently, villagers work in coal mines for months, even though they know that they are risking their lives underground since accidents are frequent there. The coal given to them at the end of the year as their wages only lasts for a few months. Last year, a man from the village was killed by a gas explosion while digging coal in a coalmine far from home. Mr. Ji (b. 1977) has worked in a coalmine for years. He said, "For years, I have been dreaming of coming out of the coalmine to elsewhere to earn money, but the more I struggle, the longer I have to stay. No one wants to stay where you could lose your life any time, and no one wants to stay in such a place for months just to get a little coal at the end of the year. I have done a rough calculation, and I think it can at least save two to three tons of coal every year for my family. You know that is more than 1,000 RMB. I have been thinking about leaving the coalmine, but I couldn√Ęt because otherwise I wouldn√Ęt have enough fuel for the year. But now, with the help of the solar cooker, I can go to other places where I can at least be safe." [Hualongkou Village > Tiantang Township > Tianzhu Tibetan Autonomous County > Gansu Province > PR China]


Language English
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